940 F.2d 832 (3rd Cir. 1991), 90-5312, In re TMI Litigation Cases Consol. II

Docket Nº:Dresser Industries, Appellants in Nos. 90-5312 and 90-5672.
Citation:940 F.2d 832
Party Name:In re TMI LITIGATION CASES CONSOLIDATED II. BRANNON, James T., et al., v. BABCOCK & WILCOX COMPANY, INC., et al., General Public Utilities Corporation, Metropolitan Edison Company, New Jersey Central Power & Light Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Babcock & Wilcox Company, McDermott Incorporated, U.E. & C.-Catalytic, and Burns & Roe Enterpris
Case Date:July 26, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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940 F.2d 832 (3rd Cir. 1991)

In re TMI LITIGATION CASES CONSOLIDATED II.

BRANNON, James T., et al.,

v.

BABCOCK & WILCOX COMPANY, INC., et al., General Public

Utilities Corporation, Metropolitan Edison Company, New

Jersey Central Power & Light Company, Pennsylvania Electric

Company, Babcock & Wilcox Company, McDermott Incorporated,

U.E. & C.-Catalytic, and Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc.,

Dresser Industries, Appellants in Nos. 90-5312 and 90-5672.

Andrea LEWINTER, Personal Representative of the Estate of

Mark Lewinter;

v.

GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORP.; Metropolitan Edison

Company; Jersey Central Power & Light Co.; Pennsylvania

Electric Company; Babcock & Wilcox Company; J. Ray

McDermott & Company; Catalytic, Inc.; and Burns & Roe,

Inc., General Public Utilities Corporation, Metropolitan

Edison Company, New Jersey Central Power & Light Company,

Pennsylvania Electric Company, Babcock & Wilcox Company,

McDermott Incorporated, Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., and

U.E. & C.-Catalytic, Appellants in No. 90-5313.

Perri C. KIICK; and Edward Kiick, husband and wife

v.

METROPOLITAN EDISON CO.; General Public Utilities Corp.;

and Babcock and Wilcox Company, General Public Utilities

Corp., Metropolitan Edison Company, and Babcock & Wilcox

Company, Appellants in No. 90-5314.

John W. GUMBY, Sr.

v.

GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORP.; Metropolitan Edison

Company; Jersey Central Power & Light Co.; Pennsylvania

Electric Company; Babcock & Wilcox Company; J. Ray

McDermott & Company; Catalytic, Inc.; Burns & Roe

Enterprises, Inc., General Public Utilities Corporation,

Metropolitan Edison Company, New Jersey Central Power &

Light Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Babcock &

Wilcox Company, McDermott Incorporated, Burns & Roe

Enterprises, Inc., and U.E. & C.-Catalytic, Appellants in

No. 90-5315.

Harry MONTVILLE; Virginia Montville, in their own right and

as parents and natural guardians of plaintiff;

Daniel Allen Montville

v.

GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORP.; Metropolitan Edison

Company; Jersey Central Power & Light Co.; Pennsylvania

Electric Company; Babcock & Wilcox Company; J. Ray

McDermott & Company; Catalytic, Inc.; Burns & Roe

Enterprises, Inc., General Public Utilities Corporation,

Metropolitan Edison Company, New Jersey Central Power &

Light Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Babcock &

Wilcox Company, McDermott Incorporated, Burns & Roe

Enterprises, Inc., and U.E. & C.-Catalytic, Appellants in

No. 90-5316.

John B. ROCHE, III; Nancy Elaine Roche; Erin Kathleen

Miller; Timothy Miller; Cathy Daugherty; Kim Daugherty;

Rachel L. Stauffer; Ned E. Grove, individually and as

personal representative of the Estate of Sylvia K. Grove,

deceased; Robert L. Cassell, Sr.; Patricia A. Cassell;

Paul D. Walterick; Linda D. Walterick, individually and on

behalf of their minor child, Paul D. Walterick, Jr.; Paul

M. Walterick; Helen G. Walterick; Jennifer M. Walterick

v.

GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORP.; U.E. & C. Catalytic

Corporation; Metropolitan Edison Company; Jersey Central

Power & Light Co.; Pennsylvania Electric Company; Babcock

& Wilcox Company; J. Ray McDermott & Company; Burns & Roe,

Inc., General Public Utilities Corporation, Metropolitan

Edison Company, New Jersey Central Power & Light Company,

Pennsylvania Electric Company, Babcock & Wilcox Company,

McDermott Incorporated, Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., and

U.E. & C.-Catalytic, Appellants in No. 90-5317.

Margaret KRAFFT

v.

GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORP.; Metropolitan Edison

Company; Jersey Central Power & Light Co.; Pennsylvania

Electric Company; Babcock & Wilcox Co.; J. Ray McDermott &

Company; Catalytic, Inc.; Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc.,

General Public Utilities Corporation, Metropolitan Edison

Company, New Jersey Central Power & Light Company,

Pennsylvania Electric Company, Babcock & Wilcox Company,

McDermott Incorporated, Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., and

U.E. & C.-Catalytic, Appellants in No. 90-5318.

In re TMI LITIGATION CASES CONSOLIDATED II.

BRANNON, James T., et al.,

v.

BABCOCK & WILCOX COMPANY, INC., et al., General Public

Utilities Corp., Metropolitan Edison Company, New Jersey

Central Power & Light Company, Pennsylvania Electric

Company, Babcock & Wilcox Company, McDermott Incorporated,

U.E. & C.-Catalytic, and Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc.,

Dresser Industries, Appellants in Nos. 90-5562.

In re TMI LITIGATION CASES CONSOLIDATED II.

BRANNON, James T., et al.,

v.

BABCOCK & WILCOX COMPANY, INC., et al., United States of

America, Defendant-Intervenor.

Nos. 90-5312 to 90-5318, 90-5562 and 90-5671 to 90-5673.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

July 26, 1991

Argued Feb. 7, 1991.

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John R. O'Donnell, Zarwin & Baum, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellees, Estate Arthur Tilly, Gertrude Tilly, Vincent Denoncour, Nora Denoncour.

Joseph D. Shein, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellee, Perri C. Kiick.

Louis M. Tarasi, Jr., Tarasi & Johnson, Pittsburgh, Pa., for appellees, Group A. See Docket Entry in No. 90-5312 for List of Parties.

Arnold Levin (argued), Fred S. Longer, Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, Philadelphia, Pa., Lee C. Swartz, Sandra L. Meilton, Hepford, Swartz, Menaker & Morgan, Harrisburg, Pa., for appellees, Group B. See Docket Entry in No. 90-5312 for List of Parties.

James R. Adams, Barley, Snyder, Cooper & Barber, Lancaster, Pa., for appellees, Family Style Restaurant, Skiadas Bros., Thomas E. Strauss, Inc., Gettysburg Tours, Inc., Heritage Inns, Inc., Le Smith Wholesale, Lincoln Heritage Inc., Overview Ltd., SMG Investments.

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Peter J. Neeson, LaBrum & Doak, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellees, Joan A. Kichman, Charles C. Kichman, Matthew C. Kichman, Kandice M. Kichman.

William E. Chillas, Joseph F. Roda, Lancaster, Pa., for appellees, Earl Realty, Inc., Amish Homestead, Inc., One Room Schoolhouse, Homestead Gift Shop, Two Twenty-Two Corp., James Cosgrove, Glass Kitchens, Cherry Lane Mtr. Inn, Richard M. Rutt, Noah N. Martin Co., Cont. Inns of America, Pentidatillo Corp.

John G. Harkins, Jr. (argued), A.H. Wilcox, Ellen Kittredge Scott, Pepper, Hamilton & Scheets, Philadelphia, Pa. (Paul J. Mishkin, Berkeley, Cal., of counsel), for appellants, General Public Utilities Corp., Metropolitan Edison Co., Jersey Central Power & Light Co., Pennsylvania Elec. Co., Babcock & Wilcox Co., McDermott Inc., UE & C-Catalytic, Inc., Burns & Roe Enterprises Inc., Dresser Industries, Inc.

Stuart M. Gerson, Asst. Atty. Gen., James J. West, U.S. Atty., William Kanter, Peter R. Maier (argued), Appellate Staff, Civ. Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for appellant, U.S.

Before MANSMANN, SCIRICA and HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

MANSMANN, Circuit Judge.

In this matter growing out of the 1979 incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, we are asked once again to resolve a confrontation between an assertion of federal jurisdiction over public liability actions by defendants and a challenge to that jurisdiction by plaintiffs who wish to be in the state court system. We previously visited a similar issue in Kiick v. Metropolitan Edison Co., 784 F.2d 490 (3d Cir.1986), and Stibitz v. General Pub. Util. Corp., 746 F.2d 993 (3d Cir.1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1214, 105 S.Ct. 1187, 84 L.Ed.2d 334 (1985), and concluded there that Congress did not intend that there be a federal cause of action arising under the terms of the Price-Anderson Act (codified in scattered sections of 42 U.S.C.).

Our focus here is on the constitutionality of the Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2011 et seq. In the Amendments Act, Congress expressly created a federal cause of action for nuclear accident claims and is alleged to have worked major changes in the landscape of public liability law.

Specifically, our review centers upon a district court order remanding certain public liability actions to the state courts in which they were originally filed or in which they might have been filed. The district court concluded that it lacked federal subject matter jurisdiction over these claims and that remand was appropriate under the terms of 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1447(c). 1 The district court reached this decision despite the fact that the Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1988, which created the federal public liability action, specifies that the federal courts have original jurisdiction over these actions and that public liability actions filed in state courts, which have concurrent jurisdiction, are subject to removal upon the motion of a defendant, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2210(n)(2).

The district court's determination with respect to subject matter jurisdiction rested not on any failure to satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of the Amendments Act but upon the court's conclusion that the Amendments Act itself was unconstitutional. Underlying the remand order was the district court's holding that Congress, in purporting to create a federal forum for public liability actions through the Amendments Act, exceeded the authority granted to it by Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.

Because it believed that its order granting the plaintiffs' motion to remand involved a "controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate

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appeal from this order may materially advance the ultimate...

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